1631 Tasting Notes
So in trying to figure out my weird tainting of my tea this afternoon I tried the water from my kettle again and my boyfriend also agreed it tasted a bit funny. The water is very hard here so even though I filter it, I had some mineral buildup on the inside. I brought it home and boiled some white vinegar in it (thanks Michelle on Steepster forum, for that tip) and now it is sparkling clean. Trying it out now and hopefully everything is back to normal.
I am having some of this tea because I haven’t been feeling 100% lately, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to take some precautionary teas. I think that the taste is gone but I am not entirely sure. I mean, this tea is fairly medicinal, so it’s possible that its just that. I mean, it’s certainly not savory like before.
I feel like I’ve had a lot of green teas and green oolongs lately, and I wanted a rich black tea. This one popped into my mind earlier today when I made the list of the top 10 rated teas in my cupboard, so I dug out my small pouch of it. I had used up my samples from Teavivre but hadn’t gotten around to ordering any more, but then KittyLovesTea generously sent me some more pearls in one of our swaps.
I took a deep sniff of my cup and was reminded about why I love this tea so much. Mmmmm chocolate. Ugh cool down, black tea, why you gotta be so hot?? It is kind of like torture waiting for this to cool. And what is more torture is sipping this tea and finding a wierd savory note at the front of the sip. WTF! So I tried some of the leftover water in my kettle and it did taste maybe a little odd but it didn’t taste savory, and the water from the Brita is fine. That leaves my steeping equipment… my infuser was recently washed because I dropped it into dirty water in the sink, but I got the first savory steep before that, so I can’t imagine. Maybe I need to really scrub it or something. My cup seems fine but who knows.
Ugh, lamesauce. I can’t even enjoy this tea, which is a real bummer.
I will always take the opportunity to try Dammann blends I haven’t tried yet. This one has even been on my list, but it wasn’t a high priorty for ordering. But now thanks again to Ellen I have a sample yay!
Ok there is for sure something weird going on with some element here, but I don’t know if it is my brewing setup (recently cleaned, but not too recently), water (maybe?) or the samples. This does not have the same powerful salty flavor as the Nirvana tea earlier today, but it does have kind of an odd savory note. Fortunately for me, there’s plenty of lovely bergamot, orange blossom and violet as well. The savory note is fading as the tea cools as well. This is a very violetty tea blend, though it doesn’t assult you with violets. More just provides you with enough to roll around in. Don’t think I would restock this one (and I’m glad I don’t have 100g of it), although I am very glad that I got a chance to try it.
Sipdown, 195. Cold brewed this one for approximately 8 hours.
This turned out pretty well; intensely floral, and sometimes maybe too much floral, but overall tasty. No astringency in the cold steep, as expected, although I would perhaps steep this one for less time on another cold brew so that it was a little less overpowering.
Sipdown, 196. I’ve wanted to try this one for a while, and now I have finally gotten a chance thanks to Ellen. I love fig everything, so a fig blend tea was for sure interesting to me.
It smells nice and fruity, although somewhat like a generic fruit flavored sencha. The flavor shocked me though! WHAT is that horrible savory flavor?? It tastes like if you made a miso soup with waaaay too much miso. It fades pretty quickly and I am left with the flavor of berries and figs (it reminds me a lot of Thé du Hammam by Le Palais des Thés), but woah. The initial part of the sip so SO salty tasting. WEIRD. This does not seem to be normal so I am assuming some other wonkiness here that is causing it.
I got a sample of this tea in my recent swap with yssah and had to add it to the database without any other information other than it is apparently a Yunnan golden buds type tea. Also I don’t have a clear method for steeping golden yunnan teas, so this is kind of an amalgamation. Hope it works out! I do have enough for another cup.
The leaf on this one is really pretty. Lots and lots of gold everywhere, and nicely long with a bit of fuzziness. When brewed there are a quite a few hay-ish notes in scent of this that I have been noticing in Yunnans lately. The flavor is slightly sweetish, with some earthy sweet potato to it. A bit of hay and woodiness in the flavor as well. It’s kind of thin, so perhaps I should have steeped this one longer; I’ll try 3 minutes on my next go. Overall a decently tasty Yunnan but I would have expected perhaps a bit more (sweetness, yamminess, honey/caramel notes) from such a nice looking gold tips tea. Then again I tend to prefer Fujians to Yunnans so I don’t have as much experience with them.
Sipdown, 197. Hmmm just noticed that my past two teas have been “happy” themed. Maybe I am trying to subconciously improve my mood since I had to get up early and I have a headache. :P Thanks to GiggleGoddess for this sample.
I was curious about this tea because it is a guyusa, and I wanted to see how it compares to Butiki’s guyusa blends. Not that I am looking for a replacement, but more just curiosity. As for steeping parameters, I can understand them for guyusa and green rooibos, but I just realized there’s also jasmine green tea in this blend. Glad I dropped the steep temp to Stacy’s for guyusa.
Woah this tea is getting very dark very fast, but it smells pretty tasty. It’s got that green, leafy guyusa smell, but it also smells sweet and fruity as well. It smells like strawberries, but even though it doesn’t smell like fresh strawberries, it’s not quite candy either. More like macerated strawberries you would get with strawberry shortcake.
This is pretty tasty! Very strawberry, but surprisingly I like it considering I am usually not the biggest fan of strawberry flavor. The guyusa keeps the strawberry from getting to sugary/candy sweet, and gives it a green note that works well. The hibiscus and rose hips in this must be pretty subtle because I can’t really tell that they are in there. There is maybe a hint of tartness in some sips but again that helps cut down on what could be an overly tooth-aching flavor. Anyway, this is a pretty tasty blend and it reminds me that I should pick up some more guyusa blends.
Sipdown, 198. Decided to go for this since I knew it was tasty; I thought I might have two servings of this left but apparently I’m bad at judging becaues it happened to be a sipdown. Also, I’ve decided that I have a new cupboard rule: now that I’m below 200, I will be allowed to order tea when I get to a point where my new order won’t increase my cupboard beyond that. So if I want to order 5 teas from a company I have to get down to 195 first. My next goal is 196 for a Butiki order, but I also will have a swap coming in that time, so I’m going to try to go lower in the meantime.
I kind of overleafed this one a smidge so there is a slightly too-strong note in there, but it is still delicious. Yup, when I go to Paris hopefully this July, I will definitely stop by Fauchon for some tea (and lets face it, delicious candy!).
Thanks to yssah for this sample. I am on such a rose black kick lately. I now have several 1ish cup samples of rose black but I think I am going to save the rest until my rose black from In Nature tea comes and have a rose tea taste-off. This company seems to be a wholesaler only as there is no information on purchasing their teas from their website.
Also my nose has decided that it is a faucet lately. It’s not stuffy (good, so I can still smell the teas) but it is very sneezy and runny. Could be allergies, I guess; it’s been a long time since I’ve lived this far south and maybe my allergy antibodies are all off. Time to get some local honey at the market.
This tea brewed up kind of pale for a black tea but I am pretty sure it is a black. It smells kind of odd; like roses, I guess, but also a little chemically? Actually I know what it smells like but I don’t want to admit it to myself because I will never be able to drink the tea. I have never associated that smell with roses. The flavor is sweetish but yeah, chemicals. Weird! I have never expienced that with a rose tea. I guess this is an unexpected sipdown because I won’t be drinking more of this. So now I can say that the scent I am reminded of here is old alcohol-preserved museum specimens (animals, I mean, generally lizards), which I used to work with ages go. Incidentally it is also the scent of the heinous Chinese liquor baijo. Not what I was expecting this early in the morning!
Sipdown, actually 199 (though I still haven’t added the LITs that aren’t on Steepster yet). Time to sipdown an Argentine herbal blend.
What an interesting blend of flavors; I could smell the cinnamon and ginger from the bags, and definitely in the brewed tea along with the fig for sure (my boyfriend says: smells like Christmas). Well shoot, it would figure that the one rooibos that I really enjoy would be basically impossible to find in the states. This does taste like Christmas, with warm spices and fruits. It reminds me of mulled cider, even though its not particularly appley.
There is another Chamana tea that I really like, so maybe I will be able to find them someday. Otherwise the next time I go back to Argentina (whenever that might be…).